Reduce the Homework Abuse

GPA, College Applications, Midterms, Finals, AP Tests, Homework. Students in high school constantly worry about these academic headaches. Expectations rise so high for teenagers that they barely have the time to actually be teenagers. Homework consumes an immense amount of high school students’ lives. When does the workload become too much to handle? Homework causes the home to feel like a classroom and proves an enormous, stress-causing issue.

The best way to deal with homework is to cut back on the massive amount assigned to students. Homework in high school should reduce to fifty percent of current homework amounts because the heavy workload overwhelms students with stress. Reducing homework would help relieve stress on teens and their congested schedules. Most teens participate in sports, music, and other extracurricular activities. Homework cuts into much of the time given for these activities.

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According to Mary Allard, an economist from the Bureau of Labor statistics, teens aged fifteen to nineteen spent time “attending class and doing homework for 7.5 hours” on an average day (Allard). Homework alone accounts for a huge amount of that time. Research done by Allie Bidwell, an education reporter for US News, found that “students nowadays are spending significantly more time on homework assignment… up to 17.5 hours each week” (Bidwell). That amount equals an extreme two and a half hours each night.

The extensive time spent doing homework each night combined with sleeping accounts for two thirds of modern teens time (Allard). School alone amounts to six hours every weekday. That leaves only two hours per day for eating, sports, working, family, or any other personal and extracurricular activities. Also, students admit to homework causing the most stress in their lives. Imagine getting home from a six hour school day and opening up a massive, heavy backpack only to find huge heaps of homework awaiting completion. Health education manager, Becky Beacom, held a survey to find what stressed teens the most.

Out of the 124 teens surveyed, homework accumulated 138 mentions and accounted for 55% of the most stressful activities (Beacom). Reducing the homework amounts would help relieve much of the stress in teen’s lives. Cathy Vatterott, a Professor of Education from the University of Missouri, states that “children benefit when their time outside of school includes not only academics but play, productive hobbies, family time, and downtime” (Vatterott). Vatterott then shows that honoring family time by “limiting daily homework, especially on weekends and school holidays” reduces homework stress majorly (Vatterott). Homework takes up too much time.

Homework causes stress. Homework reduction will relieve stress. Ample evidence proves that homework overwhelms students. Reduce it. Some teachers argue that homework builds students’ knowledge and gives them extra practice and understanding. They claim homework acts as a necessity of the learning process.

Homework does have its minor benefits in small amounts, but it does not benefit teens when they have hours and hours to complete every night. The stress caused by the excess amounts of homework brings a large health risk to teens as they mature into adults. According to Dr. Rebecca J. Frey, “Stress is defined as an organism’s total response to environmental demands or pressures.” Frey also describes that “severe or prolonged stress can lead to illness.

“Many illnesses linked to stress include: irritable bowel syndrome, chronic headaches, burnout, indigestion, fatigue, back or neck pain, and anxiety (Frey). What teacher or parent would want their teenager to experience these symptoms? No teenager deserves to suffer these awful illnesses just because their homework load exceeds what it should be. The best way to save students from the stress and illness caused by homework is to reduce the amount of homework given every night. Reducing homework by fifty percent would tremendously reduce the risk of stress-related illness while still allowing for enough homework to increase students’ understanding of school topics. Overall, homework adds to the already busy and stressful lives of everyday high schoolers.

Nobody wants to be stressed out after school every day. Students deserve a break from school and all the work that comes with it when they get home. The only way to give that break is to reduce the source. Administrators should implement a system to reduce students’ homework and stress.